In the whirlwind of events at the 8th Our Ocean Conference in Panama, President Surangel S. Whipps, Jr. stands firm, calling on our brothers and sisters of the world to join the island nations of the Pacific in protecting the ocean.
The President reiterated the need for a moratorium on deep-sea mining until scientific studies are conducted and provide a better understanding of the impact it will have on our environment, our livelihoods, our communities and our collective identities.
Various studies published show how deep-sea mining could be an important source of rare metals, including cobalt and nickel for the development of electric vehicle batteries and other green technologies.
“It’s ironic that in our effort to reduce negative impact on the environment — we’re also looking to extract necessary materials in such a way that could harm our environment,” he says.
“What we know today about the potential short- and long- term impacts of deep sea-mining is limited. According to current science, it remains difficult to predict the effects of deep-sea mining on biodiversity and the geographical distribution of species.”
The President, during a meeting on the historic Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework, reaffirmed Palau’s commitment to the seas as agreed to at the 15th meeting of the Conference of Parties to the UN Convention on Biological Diversity.
The framework is a set of goals and objectives to be achieved by 2030 to help protect and conserve global biodiversity. Its primary goals are to ensure the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity, the fair and equitable sharing of benefits from the use of genetic resources, the promotion of access to and the transfer of relevant technologies, and the mobilization of financial resources for the conservation of biodiversity.
Its objectives include: increasing the resilience of ecosystems, developing integrated strategies for the conservation of biodiversity, and promoting the sustainable use of its components. The Framework also seeks to reduce the growing negative impacts of climate change, pollution, and other human activities on biodiversity. Finally, it seeks to create a global system of protected areas and ensure the implementation of effective management plans for them.